OPINION: A major Pixel leak this week revealed an official-looking video that appears to show a new temperature sensor within the upcoming Google Pixel 8 Pro. If true, it’s a sign that we’ve reached peak smartphone, with manufacturers now looking to include – let’s be honest – a gimmick in a flagship phone to help boost sales.
The concept, if true, uses a new sensor on the back of the smartphone to test your temperature, just by holding it to your temple for a few seconds. There is one leaked video on Twitter which shows the rumored temperature sensor if you want to know this particular feature.
Yes, it looks cool, but how useful is it in everyday use? I remain unconvinced. In fact, I would say that the rumored upgrade is a far cry from what I would have considered the glory days of smartphone development in the late 2000s and 2010s.
It was a period that not only saw the original iPhone evolve into the popular smartphone we know today, but it was a period where the year-to-year changes were significant and saw a real boost to the overall experience of the user, be it superior displays, better processing technology, larger batteries or more.
A comparison between smartphones available in 2010 and those on the market in 2019 shows significant developments, such as the transition from low-resolution LCD to high-definition OLED displays and the transition from basic single-core chips to powerful multi-core processors. In the 2020s, however, I feel like we’re losing a bit of that sparkle, with new smartphones looking and performing more and more like their predecessors.
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I should note that this logic does not apply to foldable smartphones. Unlike traditional devices, foldables are experiencing huge year-over-year advances reminiscent of the smartphone industry in the 2010s, whether it’s significant improvements in hinge tech or foldable displays, making them feel which are such worthy upgrades. Anywhere else? I’m not sure.
Take the recently announced Sony Xperia 1 V as an example; while it’s still a flagship smartphone, it looks and performs the same as its predecessor except for a slightly better camera and a slightly faster processor. It’s not exactly enough to fill your stomach with butterflies, is it?
That’s why companies like Google strive to include tech like a temperature sensor inside their flagship smartphones – just to do something a little different and stand out from the competition. But instead of implementing gimmicks that are rarely used in day-to-day use, I prefer genuinely useful features that will enhance my day-to-day experience.
If manufacturers can’t deliver truly useful features, it begs the question: have we reached the ultimate smartphone? The answer could be yes.
Of course, phones will continue to get faster, better and more capable over time, but I think the change to yearly upgrades will become more rare in the smartphone industry in general. This trend could result in a stagnant market where consumers no longer feel the need to upgrade their smartphones as often as before.
The question arises: if the smartphone market stops, what will appear in its place? AR glasses? Smartwatches? Elon Musk’s NuraLink? The coming years of 2020 will undoubtedly be intriguing for the smartphone market, and only time will tell what the future holds.
What do you want in a new smartphone when you’re looking to upgrade? Do you care about big leaps in technology or just want something that works? Let me know at Twitter.